As the world continues to recover from the Coronavirus, we're all finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory given the subsequent lockdown that is keeping us off of stages and confined to our homes. Luckily, there's comfort in the fact that we're all in this together, and that there are still many outlets for us musicians to keep us active and sane throughout this quarantine. We're checking in with bass players from all over the world to see what they're doing to stay entertained, healthy, productive, and safe during this trying time.
Bass Player: Chase Bryant
Home: Los Feliz, CA
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’ve been playing a lot of 6-string bass, learning songs off the new Thundercat record, It Is What It Is, and making sure I get some quality time with my upright bass. I’ve alse been watching lots of movies, reading, Facetiming friends, and beating video games from my childhood on Sega Genesis, such as Battletoads, DoubleDragon, and X-Men 2.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
I’ll usually start with some stretching exercises that I saw in a [guitarist] John Petrucci DVD, which helps get out all the kinks. Afterwards, I’ll work through a C major sequence along to a metronome, until I feel I’ve maxed out for the day. Then I just have fun, learning solos from the Charlie Parker Omnibook, transcribing Thundercat on my Myung bass, and daily upkeep on the projects I’m working on.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
I’ve been finding musical solace in a wide variety of records and genres. After watching ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas on Netflix, I dug deep into their early discography. Jamming over their tunes is very inspiring and it gave me a new love for holding down the groove and keeping it simple. Thundercat rules, as well. I love everything he’s doing; his awesome chords, melodies, and gnarly bass lines—it all gives me a whole new love for playing out but keeping it tasteful. I’ve also been listening to Parliament’s Mothership Connection.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I have four basses that I cycle through for different purposes. My main touring bass with Warbringer is my Nashguitars Jazz Bass 5-string. I also spend time playing my fretless Fender Precision; it’s fun and important to keep my intonation chops on point. My room setup is cozy, with an Ampeg 8x10 cabinet next to the TV, and a LittleMarkTube 800 sitting on top.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
I finished reading Acid For The Children, by Flea. Such a beautiful and inspiring book that speaks to the human experience and pays homage to the beauty of life. I go for a run around the neighborhood once a day, or at least do some pushups and weights to stay healthy and active. I find it helps with my mental health more than anything. I’ve been watching Jeopardy, Lord of the Rings extended editions, Braveheart, Amadeus, and ’90s Spider Man and X-Men cartoons on Disney+.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
The new Warbringer album, Weapons of Tomorrow, is out. We’re all excited about its release and the reactions we’ve been getting from the fans. Our goal is to get out there and tour this record as much as possible. I’m optimistic that once this pandemic is over live music will return stronger than ever, healing and bringing everyone back together. We look forward to being on the front lines when that day comes!
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Search for new ways to stay excited about your instrument. Whether that be learning a song you love, writing a new song, or practicing a new technique until you finally nail it, never stop that pursuit. Sometimes I learn a new song and it puts me in the greatest mood and inspires me, and I think to myself, “This bass has been hanging on my wall for years and I could have played this awesome line on it this whole time!” Remember, ya gotta dig if you want to strike oil.
Follow Chase: Here
All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi